Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bienvenidos a Peru

We made it to Peru, but not without our share of drama and miracles. Our luggage has yet to arrive, but we've had an awesome day. First of all, it was wonderful to see Elizabeth and Lee! Of course I cried, even though I tried not to. She did a most impressive job of driving us home from the airport in Peruvian traffic and a standard transmission to boot.
As we arrived and toured the albergue, we were greeted with so many smiles and hugs. Joel went straight to work scraping paint off one of the casitas to prep it for painting. Hallie took off with her Spanish/English picture book and made friends with several girls close to her age. HanK and I rested up for just a minute, then we set about trying to locate our luggage with Elizabeth. So many funny details such as every time E dialed the telephone number the airline gave me to check up on the bags, she reached an elderly woman instead. We really have no idea about our luggage, but we're praying and trusting that they will arrive soon.
Today was Pablo and Pedro's fifth birthday, so Hannah, Hallie and I went with Elizabeth to take them into town and celebrate with them. We rode the "public transportation" into town. I've often joked about making a "rolling stop" to let the girls off at school or somewhere, but these guys take that phrase very literally. The bus was crowded, loud and windy; but guess who went to sleep on the way into town...yep, poor Hal. (Of course we took a picture, which I will post soon.)
We took the boys to a restuarant with a play place. Hallie and I had lomo saltado...and it was delicious! HanK had an order of french fries. HUGE papas fritas. Elizabeth showed us how to mix the mayonesa with the ahi dressing to dip the fries in. She's such a native now. She ate chicken off the bone and stuck her finger in the dressing to test it...two things I don't think she would have done six months ago.
When we returned, we were met by Joel, Lee and several of the boys riding on top of a truck full of rocks. They are still unloading them, so I don't know the whole story...but I'm sure its a good one.
The girls have both been awesome. Such a long hard trip~three flights through the night and over 15 hours of travel, yet they've not bickered or complained. Which is quite the miracle in and of itself.
I asked Hallie this afternoon if the experience was anything like she expected so far. Her reply was, "Our rooms are much nicer than I thought they would be." I guess if you prepare someone for the worst, they'll be pleasantly surprised.
There are so many things I'd like to write about in so much more detail, but 1.) it would probably bore my "readers" to death; and 2.) I know if I don't do it while its fresh on my mind, I'll overthink things and never get around to writing anything. So I hope you'll please excuse me if my posts are not so well thought out or have mistakes over the next month...and if you think of it, I hope you'll pray for our family from time to time during the next few weeks. I can already tell that God is teaching us things and revealing Himself in ways that we would have been too busy and distracted to see back in the States.
Tomorrow is our first "real" day of work. It should interesting. I'll write and post pics when I can!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Photo Safari 2~Artsy-Fartsy

For our second photo safari, we decided on the theme "Artsy-Fartsy". We planned a quick overnight trip to Big D which included a trip to the Museum of Art (hence the politically incorrect title of our safari).
We left after I got off work, drove to Big D, ate at the Spaghetti Warehouse, walked around a bit, and then went to our hotel for a late night swim in the roof-top pool overlooking the city. It was a wonderful evening.
Here are a few of my photos...

Shooting Fountains

Waterfall Fountains~ I thought the cool "artsy" thing about this pic was the way HanK and Hallie are "ghosting" into the scene. Of course it was an unplanned accident, but I'm pretty sure that's how we get some of our greatest works of art. Right?

HannahKate goes to great lengths to get the shot.

The next morning, we went to brunch at a quirky coffee shop that Joel knew of from a MM photo shoot. The atmosphere was fun and the food was great. Our waiter had a tattoo of "The Giving Tree" on his arm and fueled the girls with double shots of Mountain Dew by duct taping two to-go cups together before sending us off. (That's two cups for each girl...who had already had MD during our meal...they were definitely "all hopped up on Mountain Dew" a la Ricky Bobby.)
While we were enjoying our meal, two men and a lady walked past us on their way out of the restaurant. I noticed one of the men was carrying a book. I said to Joel, "Did you see that guy? He was reading Same Kind of Different as Me which is one of my all time favorite books!" Then Joel said, "Denyse, did you see WHO that guy was?" Turns out, I was too busy looking at his book to even notice that it was Mike Modano, the legendary hockey player. Such a shame, because he is one hunky man...and I missed him! Oh well, its nice to know he has good taste in books...
The Quirky Coffee Shop Where I Missed Seeing a Famous Person

Next, we pressed on to the Museum of Art. My pics from there aren't all that great, because I used my phone's camera. Honestly, I was much busier enjoying the art than trying to take artsy photos.

I have to admit. This is actually BigJoel's picture. His was better than mine, so I borrowed it. I'm fascinated by these huge glass flowers. They remind me of the ceiling/light fixtures in the Bellagio hotel in Vegas.

HannahKate and Hallie enjoyed the interactive "Textures" exhibit.

My abstract "artsy-fartsy" shot of the day~a metal mesh-like bench in the Museum garden.

I don't know the name of this sculpture, but it sorta reminded me of a giant fortune cookie...

So, our second photo safari was just as successful as the first. We had an amazing time together as a family and even got a little "culture" in the process.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Weekly Pic--"Red-y" for Anything

I took this last week on our photo safari, but it didn't really have anything to do with the theme. I just thought it was fun.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo Safari~First/Beginnings

This summer, in an attempt to keep the girls from getting bored with their new found freedom from school, BigJoel came up with the brilliant idea of a "Photo Safari". (Hallie actually coined the name.) The premise is that we decide on a theme and then drive around town taking pictures that depict our own interpretations of the theme. We will choose the best ones and compile a scrapbook at the end of the summer. Since this was our inaugural "safari", we chose the theme of "First/Beginnings". Here are some of my shots...since its my blog.

The corner of "First" and Park

The sign at "First" Baptist Church

This used to be a minor league baseball stadium. Joel suggested it because there were lots of "Big Innings" there...its a stretch, I know...

HannahKate~our "First" daughter

This one isn't really that artistic, but it is Joel and I standing in front of the restaurant where we went on our "first" date 25 years ago. That was the "beginning" of an era. Its actually not a restaurant anymore, but at least the building is still standing...

Front doors are the "first" thing you see when you enter a building.

So our "first" Photo Safari was a success. We managed to get out of the house and have a great day just being together...and it was free! I think this might be the "beginning" of a really fun summer.